Space has been commercialized. It’s militarized now. Can it be colonized next? Some experts believe we’re on track for a full-blown space race between the U.S. and China, not just putting boots on the moon but setting up camp there to mine rare minerals. There are international treaties that prevent governments from claiming territories in space, but if history has taught us anything, it’s that a) treaties are broken when payouts are high enough, and b) human nature loves loopholes.
“It’s a fact: we’re in a space race.” These are the words of NASA’s leader himself, Bill Nelson said in an interview recent interview and politics.The former Florida senator and astronaut went on to say: “Really, we’d better watch them [China] Don’t go somewhere on the moon under the guise of scientific research. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that they say ‘don’t come out, we’re here, this is our territory’. “
Nelson isn’t the only one at NASA who thinks there’s a big war going on between the two major Earth and space powers. “In a way, it’s a political contest to show whose system works better,” said retired Air Force Colonel Trevelts, a former commander of the International Space Station and Space Shuttle. “What they really want is respect as the number one power in the world. They want to be the dominant power on Earth, so going to the moon is a way of showing that their system is working. If they beat us back to the moon, it shows they stronger than us.”
While that may be true for China, it is easy for the US to say the same. NASA is currently working on a plan to return astronauts to the moon as early as 2024. But it’s not just the U.S. government that’s trying to make an atmospheric statement; the private sector wants to join in, too. As space becomes more and more commercialized, becoming a playground for billionaires, it’s becoming increasingly clear that with enough money and enough hubris, almost anything is possible on the final frontier.
A sort of Recent Review Articles A space race of colonialist proportions is already underway in Energy Intelligence’s view that while the 1967 Treaty of Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is better known as the Outer Space The space treaty strictly prohibits countries from making sovereign claims in outer space, and the treaty does not foresee the need to write the same rules into private industry.
What exactly are all these competing interests on the Moon? According to Energy Intelligence, “The region of interest on the Moon is the lunar South Pole, where a concentration of valuable minerals, water, and geographic features conducive to sustaining 24-hour solar power combine to create ideal conditions for creating lunar colonies. The presence of rare minerals in space is critical to global industry as it may provide solutions for the “rare” and “earth” parts of these minerals that are critical to many supply chains.
These minerals are especially important for many components in electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy infrastructure, which means Demand for metals such as lithium and cobalt Already rising fast and ready to shine.A geopolitical battle has unfolded as different interests turn to these materials Snap up proven reserves and shore up supply chains. It stands to reason that this battle could easily spill over into space if there is less supply on Earth.
This kind of interstellar exploration is worrisome, to say the least. Not only is it fertile ground for geopolitical conflict and colonial posturing, but it also violates fundamental principles of sovereignty. As the Energy Intelligence Group wrote last week, “The interest of ‘all mankind’ appears to be no longer the driving factor behind lunar exploration, but instead the very kind of national chauvinism that space exploration is supposed to replace.” Still, if you look at the already Defense budgets for the militarization of space, and the agendas of companies promoting space tourism like Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and Blue Origin, are principles that have been on hold for a long time now.
By Haley Zaremba for Oilprice.com
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